Offense locked out in Key City Clash
Heading into Saturday’s Key City Clash between Loras and the University of Dubuque, the Iowa Conference looked to be wide open. With UD’s 42-7 drubbing of the Duhawks at Chalmers Field, the Spartans may have locked it down.
The Duhawks entered the weekend on a three-game winning streak, and were situated just one game behind the Spartans for first place in the IIAC standings. Unfortunately for Loras, the UD team that stunned the conference a few weeks ago with a beatdown of perennial national powerhouse Wartburg, was as good on Saturday as advertised.
The Loras offense, which has looked to be unstoppable through most of the season, failed to find any rhythm in Saturday’s game, and was shut out for the entirety of the first half. The Duhawks lone score of the afternoon came on a one-yard touchdown pass from first-year quarterback Nolan Baumhover to sophomore David Adams on Loras’ first possession of the second half. Adams’ touchdown capped a 14-play, 78-yard drive, and pulled the Duhawks to within 14. Baumhover completed 21 of his 37 pass attempts for 174 yards, his lowest passing yardage total of the season.
But the Spartans kept going.
The Loras defense, which appeared to take a significant step forward last week in the Duhawks’ win over Simpson, looked outsized and overmatched against the Spartans. UD’s Chris Bagley hauled in 11 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns, and Maurece Herrion rushed for 170 yards and a pair of scores. The Spartans controlled the ball for nearly three full quarters of play, and outgained Loras, 592-218, in total offense.
Junior linebacker Damon Davies provided a ray of light on an otherwise dreary day for the Duhawks’ defense. Davies sacked UD quarterback Rio Johnson three times, and tallied nine total tackles on the day.
The Duhawks (4-4, 3-2 IIAC) will look to get back on track next week, as they travel to Decorah to take on the Luther College Norse (3-5, 1-4).